By George Grant.
Tripoli, 18 August:
The Misrata Local Council has submitted a recommendation to the Ministry of Justice that more than 140 . . .[restrict]prisoners being held in the city be released.
The move follows an assessment by the council’s detainees affairs committee that insufficient evidence exists against the men to bring a charge.
“These are people who had been accused of minor, non-war related crimes”, said Shawqi Ermada, the chairman of the committee.
“We are currently assessing the files of many other arrested civilians, whom we hope to see released in the coming days”, he added.
It is understood that around 20 of the prisoners had been released as of last night, with the request from the local council having been made on Thursday.
In the absence of a properly functioning judicial system, thousands of prisoners continue to languish in jails and makeshift detention centres across Libya, with only a fraction of that number having been brought to trial to date.
Official guidance from the Ministry of Justice states that any detainee against whom insufficient evidence exists to bring a charge should be released.
The detainees affairs committee was recently established by the Misrata Local Council in an effort to facilitate the processing of prisoners being held in the city.
The 23-man body, headed by Ermeda, a respected lawyer, has been tasked with assessing prisoners’ cases in Misrata and submitting its recommendations to the local council and the Ministry of Justice.